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Daylight saving time brings brighter evenings and a reminder that spring and warmer weather are within reach. However, it comes with the potential to wreak havoc on a family’s sleep routine. Time changes can make morning schedules just a little bit harder for parents everywhere.
“A time change shifts our body’s normal schedule and losing an hour of sleep during daylight saving time can be a tough transition for moms and their families,” says Shannon Wright, a registered dietitian and wellness expert for Natrol, a market leader of vitamins and supplements.
Despite this, daylight saving time may be just the right time to reset sleep routines and get family schedules back on track.
“Use this time change as a reason to start implementing a better night time routine for the entire family,” Wright says. “If adults do not get the seven to nine hours of sleep the body needs, it can have significant consequences such as decreased mood, poor performance at work and an increase in accidents can occur.”
To help families get through this time change adjustment, Wright recommends these tips and tricks to help ease into the transition and get the best night’s sleep possible:
1. Stay consistent.
Develop a nightly routine to help regulate your body’s sleep and wake schedule. Aim to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help support your body’s natural sleep cycle and also support the body’s release of melatonin, which helps put you to sleep and promotes more restful sleep.
2. Limit nighttime screen time.
Unwinding with your favorite TV shows or reading the latest news on your smartphone or tablet can seem like a nice way to ease into falling asleep once the kids are in bed, but it can hinder your sleep if you do it within an hour of bedtime. The blue light release from these various technological devices can actually trick your brain into thinking it is daytime and your body will delay its release of melatonin.
3. Step outside.
Use that extra daylight to spend some quality time outside with your family. Research suggests a correlation between exercise and a good night’s rest. You can even use a pedometer or step monitor to ensure you’re moving your body enough throughout the day. Challenge your family to be more active and your whole family will be getting more sleep.
4. Create an environment for sleep.
A perfect sleep environment should be dark, quiet and cool so you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep. If you have challenges with any of these factors, invest in some blackout curtains, ear plugs or a fan.
5. Get support with a melatonin supplement
Various factors can affect the natural production of melatonin in our bodies such as age, diet, time changes and stress. Supplementing with melatonin can help establish normal sleep patterns to give you a more restful, relaxing sleep and in turn, better overall health. Try Natrol Melatonin, a 100 percent drug-free sleep aid that is non-habit forming to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep so you wake up feeling refreshed.
“Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different so use these tips and be patient. Before long, moms and their families will be fully rested and ready to tackle their busy days,” Wright says.